Recently we have developed fast, inexpensive, simple routes to nanostructured proteins1 and metals, including macroscopically extended, nanostructured arrays of gold nanoparticles. We have demonstrated that light-harvesting proteins from purple bacteria are strongly coupled to localised surface plasmons associated with these gold nanoparticles, leading to the creation of hybrid states that combine the properties of light and matter. Current work seeks to explore this exciting phenomenon in more detail and to understand, in particular, how the splitting is determined by the protein structure. A potential application of this observation is in low-cost medical diagnostic systems: the splitting is related to the amount of bound protein in a quantitative fashion. We are also interested in discovering ways to assemble synthetic structures that are inspired by natural photosystems (for example, based on organic polymers) that may be used in sensors and in photovoltaic devices).
This is a self-funded project. The applicant should have or expect to gain at least an upper second class degree, or equivalent overseas qualification, in a relevant subject.
If you have the correct qualifications and access to your own funding, either from your home country or your own finances, your application to work with this supervisor will be considered.
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